Standing the Test of Time — Dark Timber Design by Abodo Wood

Words by James Lyall Smith
Standing The Test Of Time Dark Timber Design By Abodo Wood Image 09

From a design perspective, dark timber has been rapidly growing in popularity for architects, designers and homeowners throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Historically, the very nature of dark finishes led to poor performance and longevity on high-movement timbers exposed to the warmer climactic conditions of the region. In the quest to overcome the traditional limitations of dark timber finishes, Abodo Wood is changing the way dark timbers perform by providing their products with an increased level of protection against environmental pressures and the natural aging process.

Abodo’s Nero finish keeps its dark colour for a longer period of time.

Dark timber exteriors, and the application of charred timber styling, are being increasingly specified in residential and commercial projects as designers look to add an element of dramatic sophistication to a façade or space. Hampering the use of darkened finishes are the environmental pressures brought about by increased exposure to sunlight and the warmer temperatures that mark long summer days in Australia and regions of New Zealand. Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding, Screening and Joinery is the solution to the problems that have plagued dark timber exteriors whilst ensuring that darkened finishes maintain the same level of tonal consistency and aesthetic integrity over time.

Abodo Wood is changing the way dark timbers perform by providing their products with an increased level of protection against environmental pressures and the natural aging process.

Abodo Vulcan Cladding is a premium weatherboard timber that has been utilised to great effect in various projects across New Zealand and Australia. Created from Abodo’s thermally-modified New Zealand plantation timber, Vulcan Cladding provides superior beauty, durability, and weathering characteristics, and is the perfect substrate for coating in darker colours. In layman’s terms, the thermal modification of timber stabilises the product and removes much of the moisture and resin. This then means that thermally-modified timber can absorb increased amounts of heat, hold coatings for longer and requires less overall maintenance to protect the original finish. Testament to Abodo’s vision for all timbers to be safe, sustainable and cared for, Vulcan Cladding is a rapidly renewable alternative to native hardwood forests. Vulcan Cladding is also lightweight, allowing for easy transportation and a simple installation process.

Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding in an Ebony finish maintains its level of tonal conistency over time, as seen here in Black Box Luxury Home by Valento Homes.

Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding is available in several dark colour finishes including Ebony, Vulcan Primed, Nero, a recent addition, and the universally popular Charred finish. Recently released to market, Nero is a beautiful deep black finish created by using a mix of smaller and larger particles of carbon black pigment. The heavy pigmentation of Nero keeps its colour for a longer period of time even in the harshest climatic conditions. Abodo also proudly offers a charred Vulcan Cladding solution that is applied through a modern interpretation of the ancient Japanese technique known as Yaki Sugi or Shou Sugi Ban. Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding once again proves to be the ideal substrate for a deeply charred finish as its uniquely natural durability means that the charred timber is consistent and flat after charring. Abodo’s factory solution includes a deep char, and a sealer coat of Char-Oil, designed to provide a beautiful jet-black char layer and increased longevity for the finish.

Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding, with a charred finish, features Charred Timber House by Assembly Architects.

Ultimately, Abodo’s thermally modified Vulcan Cladding and dark timber finishes are the perfect design solutions for those wishing to introduce darker or charred timber tones into their next residential or commercial project. One of the primary aims for Vulcan Cladding is to ensure that dark timber exteriors maintain their design beauty for many years after application. Images of showcase projects featuring Vulcan Cladding in various dark finishes have been obtained three years on from application, proudly showcasing the increased longevity of dark timber as a design choice, even when exposed to the harsh climactic conditions of Western Australia and New Zealand’s Central Otago region.